I couldn't pick just one B word, so I'm doing a few. Bare with me...ha ha, another B.
Beautiful and Body Image go together in my mind. When I was thinking of B words I was originally going to do just Body Image and as I began to plan this post in my mind I started thinking about how difficult it is to maintain a healthy body image. We're all beautiful in one way or another, one shape or form - both inside and out. I think it's time for us to recognize that and celebrate it.
(I love Dove's campaign around this)
All too often we become obsessed with the bad - what we don't like. I'd like to encourage you to flip your way of thinking and embrace the good. Rather than gossiping with our girlfriends about how much we hate this or that about ourselves, why not change it up and talk about how much we love x part of ourselves. I know - it's tough, we don't want to come off as conceited, but you really need to do it. Here's how I'd suggest going about it - complement your friends first. Who doesn't love getting a complement? Tell them their legs look good or you admire their arms. Pretty easy right? Then its a nice to transition into something like, "You know, I've always loved how toned my legs look. Do you have any good tips for getting arms like yours?" Then it stays positive. Much nicer than "I wish my arms looked as good as yours." Try it, please.
So, in the essence of sharing, what do I like about myself? Well, I like my legs - I'm good at maintaining nice muscle in my legs and they look good - or at least I think so. Love my shoulders and arms - similar story - I think they look nice and healthy. And, well as a chick, I'd like to admit that I'm kind of proud of the girls on my chest. I'm happy with the size. So there, a few things I like about myself.
But, that small nagging part of you always gets in the way. The...I hate how my arms jiggle or this stomach...seriously? Rather than always focusing on the negative, try to take action to get them to the state you want them to be - with the realization that you may not ever get them perfect, but better.
I hate my stomach...always have. After having a baby and gaining too much baby weight it was just worse. I'd give anything now a days to go back to the stomach I had pre-baby, but alas I cannot. So instead, I do what I can to strengthen my core and let time try to heal the stretch marks and muscle. Running has definitely helped. Shirt on, I'm getting to a pretty OK place with my tummy. Still not happy shirt off and you won't catch me in a bikini any time soon (or ever again perhaps), but I'm learning to accept it. And the little was totally worth every mark.
I'd also like to take a moment to talk about being beautiful on the inside. I was always a focus on the inside and being a good person type of personality. I recognize that the outside changes, so I'd rather like who I am on the inside first and I'm pretty comfortable saying I like who I am, what I stand for. If you can't say that, you definitely need to work on accepting who you are or becoming who you want to be before trying to change the outside - or do both at once, but understand that the inside really shapes the outside and persists over time. Whether your giving or graceful, shy or outgoing, confident or glamorous...any characteristic - all beautiful in their own way and it's what makes you, well you. Celebrate it. Love it.
Moving on to my other B's.
Bananas. In my attempts to be a greener, more ecofriendly person, I try to grow some of my own food and support local agriculture when I can. But bananas are my vice. I know they are flown from around the world and living in New England I'll never have a locally grown banana in my lifetime unless its so genetically modified I'd be scared to eat it. So I continue to by and consume (in mass quantity) bananas because they are so good for you. Lots of potassium. (for more on how good for you bananas are, go here.) Yummy. Just yummy. The little and I probably eat a good 10 - 12 bananas between us in a week. Lately I'm in love with having banana smoothies.
Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie (saw this on Pinterest - thanks friends)
- 1 peeled banana (frozen or regular - your preference)
- 1/4 cup yogurt (Love me some Stonyfield Banilla)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup milk (or more for your preference. I do skim - Stonyfield again.)
Blend to creamy deliciousness. Love this. I've adjust it recently to tone down the peanut butter and sometimes I omit the yogurt when I'm in a hurry. Other times I add cinnamon because it makes everything better, I promise. Mmmmm.
My newest addition (as of just started yesterday):
Banana, Strawberry, & Kale Delight
- 1 peeled banana (I'm using regular)
- 1/2 - 1 cup sliced strawberries
- Some chopped Kale, stems removed (If you're new to greens in your smoothies, start with a little and work your way up).
Blend until smooth. Very yummy. I'm new to adding greens to my smoothies, so I started small and did more today. Can't taste them, I promise. And I'm excited to say now I have a way to have veggies with my breakfast smoothie. :) Healthy and nutritious.
Broccoli. I love broccoli. It's really my latest obsession. I eat more than a pound a week. It was great when the little was obsessed too, but alas she's moved onto cauliflower. Broccoli has a ton of iron in it, which is probably why I'm craving it so. (for more about why broccoli is good for you, go here.) I can't seem to eat it raw though, so I saute it with a little butter and olive oil. It's Smart Balance Butter, it's ok, really. :)
I eat broccoli hot, I eat broccoli cold. Salads, plain, with every meal. I could write a Dr. Seuss like book about it. Either way - it's a new obsession really since changing my eating style. I told you you could become obsessed with and crave healthy things. Living proof. Right here.
So that's my B's for fitness.